Ponseti Method

The Ponseti Method​ is the most recognized method of treatment for clubfoot worldwide and is a method that is followed by the Division of Orthopaedics and the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department. The method includes the following three phases of treatment.

Casting

The baby’s affected foot and leg will be placed into a plaster cast from the top of the leg to the toes, with the toes left open. Each week, for five or six weeks, the cast will be removed, we’ll gently stretch your baby’s foot closer to a normal position, then put on a new cast to hold the stretch in place. 

Since most infants do not move around very much in the first weeks of life, they do not have too much difficulty or discomfort in the casting phase.

Achilles Tendon ​Release

The majority of children with clubfoot require this brief outpatient procedure. With one stroke, the orthopaedic surgeon makes a small incision in the Achilles tendon, located at the back of your baby’s heel. When the tendon releases, it lengthens and allows the foot to move more easily up and down at the ankle. 

A new cast is then placed on the foot and lower leg immediately following the procedure. That cast holds the new position of the foot and aids healing. Most babies feel no pain or a little pain, which tends to go away very quickly on its own or with a little bit of acetaminophen.

Bracing

After clubfoot correction, infants with clubfoot are transitioned to wearing either Ponseti AFO’s or a Denis Browne bar​ consisting of two shoes connected by a metal bar. The brace is worn full-time for about three to four months, then only at night and during naps until about age 4. 

Clubfoot is highly correctable with the Ponseti Method, but has a high recurrence rate when braces aren’t used properly or the prescribed amount of time. Your child may fuss about the brace, but it is very important to keep a consistent schedule and to encourage a positive attitude with the brace.

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